25 Fascinating Facts About Modern Greece
Modern Greece is blessed and at the same time “doomed” to be famous for its immense history, culture, contributions to the world, and the historical figures it has produced. This is why when the average person thinks of Greece their mind automatically goes either to its natural beauty or to contemplating its vibrant ancient history. On today’s list however, we focus on the wonder and beauty of modern Greece and won’t mention ancient Greece at all, which, trust us, wasn’t easy.
20. Never Wave with the Palm of Your Hand Open in Greece
There’s a thing in Greece called moutza and it is one of the worst (if not the worst) insults in the country. Greeks are known for being loud, expressive people who don’t miss a chance to show their emotions or how they feel, and so by inventing the moutza they have managed to literally say it all with a simple move of their palms.
15. There are More Than 4,000 Traditional Dances in Greece
Zorba the Greek, afilm starring Anthony Quinn, made it known to the world how much the Greek people love to dance and break plates. Believe it or not Greeks love dancing so much that there are more than four thousand different traditional dances that come from all over Greece and this number accounts for only the officially recognized ones.
10. If a Greek “Spits” On You It’s Usually a Good Thing
It is believed (mostly by older Greeks) that spitting chases the devil and misfortune away. That is why when someone transfers bad news such as a death or an accident, the people who hear it will usually spit three times. Also, when a Greek person compliments your looks he or she will “spit” on you so that you will be protected from the evil eye, which is called mati in Greek. However, keep in mind that Greeks don’t literally spit on you but just make a puff of breath through pursed lips, as if spitting. So no, you don’t have to keep a handkerchief with you in case you visit Greece next summer.
5. The Country with the Largest Maritime Fleet in the World, Statistically Speaking
With more than 3,100 merchant ships in service, Greece has the second-largest fleet in the world behind Japan and the largest statistically by far. Aristotle Onassis was one of the best known shipping businessmen in history and at his peak he was considered to be the richest man in the world.